In 1984, I had the privilege of participating in the Summer Olympics, as part to the Olympics Band. We performed at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Members were chosen from across the country, two musicians from each state. The remainder of the band wall filled out with members of the UCLA (and USC) bands. It was such a great experience to be surrounded by so many amazing musicians.
Back then, we didn’t have the production values (or giant budgets) of the current extravaganzas that we now see in Beijing or Greece. But the crowd loved it nonetheless. And we had the time of our lives.
We rehearsed for 3 weeks at the gorgeous Pepperdine University, overlooking the ocean. My parents got to come see the dress rehearsal at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. And I had not realized, or just forgot, that Ronald and Nancy Reagan were there watching us perform.